Greetings from Sugar Land, Texas.

I've made the move and it's my first day at TimeGate. The project I'm working on seems to have a really solid groundwork laid for us level designers, and I'm looking forward to digging into the work.

Being in Texas is a sort of culture shock deja vu. I'm from Florida before I moved to the west coast 6 years ago, and this big, flat, hot, Republican suburban sprawl is a little uncomfortably familiar. On the way in from the airport, I saw a Support the Troops yellow ribbon bumper sticker, the loop of which was replaced with a cut-out of a Christian cross, on the back of an SUV. My first day included The Cheesecake Factory for lunch and Chili's for dinner. I'm just trying to keep my head low.

I'm planning to write up my impressions from GDC soon. There's a lot of ground to cover there, and hopefully I'll start on it when I get home. But for now, I'm off to complete my first day as a level designer.


Anonymous said...

Christ, man, why Texas? Texas = hell, and having lived in Houston, it is easily my least favourite place on earth.

On the upside, there are some neat museums, and better night life than San Antonio... You should check out Fitzgerald's on a good night (seeing how it's SXSW time in Austin, there might be some spillover in Houston) and if you find yourself in Galveston, MOD Coffeehouse is one of the bestest coffee places in the state.

Steve gaynor said...

If I could put TimeGate in downtown San Francisco I would, but unfortunately that's not my decision to make.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, sorry, didn't mean to sound so outraged and negative; I bet Texas has its kitschy charms, but having lived here for five plus years, I am kinda sick of the place and can't wait to escape.

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand why people go nuts about Texas being some sort of unbearable place. I moved here from a democratic stronghold and a bastion of liberal thinking and I was fully prepared to be completely miserable and never leave my apartment.

On the first day I was here, I was walking around the city by myself and I stopped into a small shitty coffee shop to read a newspaper and hopefully stay out of anyone's way. As I was ordering my coffee, out of nowhere, I heard someone say in a thick Texas accent:

"Son you ain't from around here are ye'"

I took a deep breath and looked at the man who was now standing looking directly at me. I replied and said that I had, in fact, literally just moved here that day.

The man then took off his cowboy hat, stretched out his hand and introduced himself. He asked if I minded if he sat down and I said no. We talked for about a half hour about life, family, and things in general and it was honestly one of the better conversations I had in a while.

When he left, I was completely blown away by the fact that this total stranger went out of his way to be extremely welcoming to me as I was starting life in his city.

We didn't talk politics and honestly I didn't and don't give a shit what his views were because it doesn't matter. He went out of his way to be accomodating to a complete stranger -- something I would probably never do in a million years if the rolls were reversed.

The surface things may separate us as humans, but the things we feel and our shared common experiences will always be a much deeper bond than who we vote for or what we believe.

Steve gaynor said...

Yeah, as far as I'm concerned my wariness is much less a Texas Thing and much more a Suburbia Thing. I spent 10 years growing up in the suburbs of the midwest and then 9 in Florida, and politics aside, I generally prefer the city lifestyle. Nothing in Sugar Land is more than 10 years old (besides the population)-- everything is chain restaurants and prefab apartment complexes; noplace has its own personality. You have to drive or be driven everywhere, as there is no useful public transit. And as nice as the individuals I've met are, being surrounded by a pervasive undercurrent of conservatism is less than ideal, coming from 2 years in Portland and then San Fran most recently.

It's fine really.. it's a lot like my hometown in Florida actually... but I wouldn't want to be living there for the scenery anymore either.

I hear Austin is wonderful though, and I hope I'll have a chance to check it out soon.

Unknown said...

FACT: today I got a spam mail titled "Are you willing to relocate to Texas?", and I immediately had to think of you.

Then it said it was for a leading manufacturer of vibration monitoring equipment. And it required experience in the Gulf of Mexico deep water. Spam is getting more bizarre by the day.

Good luck with your new job dude!

Unknown said...

wait wait wait

The town is actually called Sugar Land? I thought you were just giving Texas an odd and possibly ironic nickname...